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Where to run in Hawaii.

Where to run in Hawaii

Running in Hawaii offers special joys-- trails through palm-lined beach parks, gentle tradewinds, an occasional cooling shower with a rainbow. But you may find a few snakes in this runner's paradise, in the form of busy streets or areas where it's not safe to run alone or at night. Now there are some quick and easy ways you can meet other runners and find the safest and best jogging routes no matter where you vacation in the Islands.

Finding out where the locals run

You'll have no trouble spotting runners in Hawaii. They're everywhere: an estimated 60,000 of them, from 80-year-old tutus (Hawaiian for grandparents) to 5-year-old keikis (kids), puffing along the streets and through parks. Hawaii claims more runners per capita than any other state, largely due to its good weather and an exuberant love affair with the Honolulu Marathon. Though it's a major international race, most of the 10,000-plus marathon participants run just for fun.

Your best source for good routes near your hotel or condominium is the Hawaii Council for Safe Running, formed two years ago by Hawaii's major running groups. With the council's 24-hour "Runners Central' telephone numbers, you can find out where to run, when races and fun runs are scheduled, and how to link up with local runners and running clubs on four islands. Call (808) 329-9111 for Hawaii; 245-4144 for Kauai; 242-6042 for Maui; 262-9292 for Oahu.

On Oahu, the number connects you to a running shop; on Maui, it's the local chapter of the Hawaii Heart Association. When calling on Kauai and the Big Island, you'll first make contact with the YWCA Women's Center and the Crisis Help Clinic, respectively; these 24-hour services will refer you to local running experts for complete information.

The council also supplies free maps of 16 popular running routes (with mileages) on the four islands. The Oahu brochure includes the three best routes near Waikiki: Ala Moana Park, along the Ala Wai Canal, and Kapiolani Regional Park. You can get these maps at any major running store in the Islands; to order by mail, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Hawaii Council for Safe Running, Box 23169, Honolulu 96822.

How to train for a marathon? You can learn at a free clinic near Waikiki

A full 98 percent of regular participants in the Honolulu Marathon Clinic (run by the city and county parks and recreation department) go on to finish the race, even if they've never run before. You're welcome to find out their secret any Sunday morning (except three-day weekends) March through mid-December. Runners meet at 7.30 at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand, just southeast (toward Diamond Head) of the intersection of Kalakaua and Monsarrat avenues. It's a 5- or 10-minute jog from most Waikiki hotels.

You can join the clinic for a short pep talk, then an easy 9- to 13-mile run. Runs are noncompetitive; you go at your own pace. For details, call (808) 841-3700.

To find out more about the marathon, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the Honolulu Marathon Association, Box 27244, Chinatown Station, Honolulu 96827, or call 734-7200 Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays between 9 and noon. This year's race is December 9, but it's not too early to make hotel and flight reservations. Entry fee is $15 if received by October 1.

Free schedule of races, fun runs

Running or watching a race is often a good way to get a glimpse of local culture and visit spots well off the beaten tourist track. For a free schedule of this year's 92 major races, fun runs, and triathlon (swim, bike, and run) competitions, write Tommy Kono, Department of Parks and Recreation, City and County of Honolulu, 650 S. King St., Honolulu 96813; include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Upcoming races this month and next include the Tantalus Run (August 12, Oahu, 5 miles), the Macadamia Nut Run (August 19, Hawaii, 5 and 15 kilometers), the Molokai Runaway Weekend (August 18, Molokai, 10 and 15 kilometers), and the Garden Isle Marathon and Half Marathon (September 2, Kauai, 26.2 and 13.1 miles).

Hawaii's heat can slow runners down

"Be aware of the effect Hawaii's heat and humidity may have on you,' warns Dr. Jack Scaff, cardiologist and cofounder of the Honolulu Marathon Clinic. He suggests drinking plenty of fluids before and during your run. It's also a good idea to use sunscreen to protect against sunburn, that nasty vacation spoiler.

Photo: Joggers follow Ala Moana Beach on popular 3-mile park loop near Waikiki, one of six Oahu routes on running council's free map
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Date:Aug 1, 1984
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